NEW YORK – The NHL Player Gaming Challenge™ presented by Honda will wrap up this Saturday at 3 p.m. ET when Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins takes on former Winnipeg Jets defenseman Joe Morrow in an EA SPORTS™ NHL®20 best-of-three series. During the six-week gaming event, NHL Clubs have been represented by one or two players in a one-time matchup against another Club. All matches are available on NHL platforms: Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook Premiere.
Saturday, June 13 (3 p.m. ET)
MATCH 15 – COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS vs. WINNIPEG JETS
Elvis Merzlikins (CBJ) vs. Joe Morrow (WPG)
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ICYMI: WEEK 5 REPLAYS
Match 13: Brandon Montour (BUF) defeats Mackenzie Blackwood (NJD)
Match 14: Anthony Cirelli (TBL) defeats Warren Foegele (CAR)
*All NHL Player Gaming Challenge™ presented by Honda matches can be found here.
The NHL Player Gaming Challenge™ presented by Honda is a #HockeyAtHome initiative that reminds fans to stay safe, stay home and play together. As the NHL community continues to practice social distancing and take all necessary precautions during this time, the League will continue to help fans stay connected to players and the game by providing access to unique content and archived games. NHL Pause Binge™ aggregates NHL video, editorial and digital content available on NHL.com, the NHL app and across the NHL’s social channels. Fans can follow along using #HockeyAtHome.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS vs. WINNIPEG JETS
Saturday, June 13, 3 p.m. ET
Elvis Merzlikins (CBJ) vs. Joe Morrow (WPJ)
* Merzlikins led rookies and shared second in the entire NHL with five shutouts in 2019-20, tied for the most in one season by any rookie over the last 11 years; Jordan Binnington (2018-19) and Tuukka Rask (2009-10) are the others with five in that span.
* Merzlikins made his NHL debut Oct. 5, 2019 but went without a win in his first 10 appearances. That changed on New Year’s Eve when he posted a 36-save victory against the Panthers – with former Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky at the other end of the ice – sparking a 13-5-4 run in his next 23 appearances leading into the pause.
* Merzlikins (Latvia) has been named a “Top 3 Player on his Team” three times at the IIHF World Championship, a tournament he has played in four times.
* Morrow was selected 23rd overall by the Penguins in the 2011 but never skated with the team, dealt to Dallas on March 24, 2013 in a deal that gave Pittsburgh a draft pick they used later that year to select Jake Guentzel.
* Morrow broke into the NHL with the Bruins, playing three seasons in Boston (2014-15 to 2016-17) before signing with the Canadiens in 2017-18. After posting 5-6-11 in 38 games with Montreal – more than his career totals to that point (2-7-9 in 65 GP w/ BOS) – he was traded to Winnipeg, where he played the remainder of 2017-18 and 2018-19.
* Morrow’s father, Dave, played for the Indianapolis Racers of the WHA in 1978-79. Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier also skated for the Racers that season, their last before entering the NHL in 1979-80.